Listing: 1867-9. by W. H. Bidlake. Later
C19 spire by T. H. Fleeming. Decorated Gothic style.
Literature: Pevsner, p.325: 1867-9 by
Bidlake. Rock-faced, with a SW steeple and geometrical tracery.
Frank Mason, The Book of Wolverhampton, p.26 (ignore the
entry in the index, which is wrong).
Comment: O.K. So it's a lousy photo.
But in summer you can't see the church for the trees and in winter you still
can't find a spot to get a decent view. If anyone can do better,
please let us know.
The church was built when Tettenhall Road was
developing as a high class suburban area. But in 1867 the
population in those parts would have still been quite thinly
spread. This church was built, apparently in advance of
requirements, and at the expense of one the nearby residents,
who seems to have wanted it for her own convenience. Mason
records that "St. Jude's was ... built with private help, Miss
Stokes giving the site and £2,000 towards the erection of the
church and a further £500 when money ran out before the spire
was added. She laid the foundation stone in June 1860 and
the church was consecrated in July 1861". The church was
sometimes simply referred to as "Miss Stokes' Church".
A printed programme issued for the Jubilee Gala
of the Wolverhampton Girls' High School, on 28th May 1960,
contains the following curious entry, which gives a different
version of the building of the church:
first number of the School Magazine, which made its
appearance in the Summer Term of the year 1915, contained
the following contribution from N. WOOD, Form Upper IIIA.
Whilst it is felt that the information contained therein
will be of considerable interest to all our visitors it
would also add considerable colour to know the whereabouts
of N. WOOD today.
MINIATURE SPIRE IN THE HOSTEL GARDENS "
wandering round the School grounds one comes across a
miniature stone spire, and wonders how it came there. It may
not be known to everybody that this once formed a portion of
the original spire belonging to St. Jude's Church, which was
erected by the late Mr. Philip Horsman, who lived in the
house which now forms the hostel adjoining the School, and
by whom St. Jude's Church was built. The Church as we know
it now has one graceful spire, but originally it had one
main spire and a miniature one by its side. The effect of
the two together was very ugly and it was spoken of at the
time as an animal with one ear. The adverse criticism was so
great that the authorities decided to replace the ugly
structure by the very graceful one which we pass every day
on our way to School. The small spire criticised as the one
ear of the animal, is the stone structure standing in our
Visitors will find this spire to the left of the grass
The interior of the church.
From an old postcard.
Dr. Joy Duff has drawn our attention to an
interesting case before the Court of Arches in 1998 which
relates to a proposal to alter the interior by removing the
doors from the ends of the pews (which are the originals).
It illustrates the conflict which may arise between changing
practices and preserving the historic fabric. The main
reason given for removing the doors was "Fellowship" and the new
practice of "The Exchange of the Peace". This is not
explained in the report of the case but is understood to be a
part of a church service when members of the congregation
embrace each other in an expression of fellowship. The
Chancellor, John Shand, observed: "Any practising Anglican knows
that this part of the liturgy can be (paradoxically)
controversial. Some feel it to be ... uplifting and moving
... others find it, at best, embarrassing. Exchange of the
Peace is probably here to stay. Nonetheless it could not
justify the removal of artefacts or major aesthetic merit.
These doors probably fall short of that ... but merit a degree
of protection". He granted the faculty sought but subject
to the retention of fifteen of the doors.
The red brick rectory next door, visible on the
right of the photo at the top, is now locally listed as 96